Photo Tip Tuesday – Determine which is your dominant photo eye that you should be shooting with.
Okay many of us take this one for granted. However, in a recent class, a student asked me “which eye am I supposed to look through the camera’s viewfinder with?” The answer is – your dominant eye. We all have one eye that’s stronger than the other, or that we prefer more than the other.
Not to worry, your eyes aren’t going to have to battle it out for superiority or anything like that. Believe it or not, there’s a very easy way to determine which of your eyes is your dominant photo eye. This one was learned at a Boy Scout camp. They taught my boys which eye was their dominant while learning archery. I’m not sure if they wanted to improve the boys accuracy or prevent any boy-scout-kabobs. Probably both.
Here’s how you do it:
• Extend your arms out in front of you with your palms faced out
• Bring your hands together to form a small triangular hole
• Look through this hole at a fixed object across the room
• Keep looking at the object with both eyes, through the triangle hole
• Slowly pull your hands to your face, still looking at the object
• Bring your hands all the way back to your face
• You just discovered your dominant eye
If you’re left eye dominant and use a DSLR camera you have an added secret weapon, as I have never seen (although I’m sure there must have them) a ‘left-handed’ camera. If you’re shooting with a DSLR, the secret left weapon is this – you can twist your body slightly to the right, look through the view finder with your left eye and rest the left side of the camera body against your left shoulder. This will give you added stability and allow you to shoot at slower shutter speeds hand-held. Sorry righties, this is hard to do on the right side of your body with the shutter release also on the right side.
Use your newly discovered dominant eye for viewing through the camera’s viewfinder. It’s most likely the eye you use naturally, but now you know why. It will also work anytime you need to use just one eye, like with a telescope, being a pirate on halloween, or lining up pictures on a wall. By the way, if your vision through the camera viewfinder seems blurry or unsharp, be sure to adjust your camera to your eye.
Which eye is your dominant eye? Is it the eye you’re already using, or not? Leave me a comment and let me know.
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